Woolly Mammoth to Host Improvised Theatre & Spoken Word Mix During RODNEY KING

Woolly Mammoth to Host Improvised Theatre & Spoken Word Mix During RODNEY KING

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announces the run of Roger Guenveur Smith's "deeply moving" (The New York Times) Rodney King, an electrifying solo show that explores the legacy of a complex historical American icon. Smith, a celebrated artist noted for his performances in Spike Lee films such as Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, was last at Woolly in 1996 with his stirring solo performance piece, A Huey P. Newton Story. A part of The Capital Fringe Festival, all tickets to this limited two-week engagement of Rodney King will be $35.

Recently featured in the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater in New York and at the Radar LA festival, Rodney King opens with excerpts from Willie D's "Fuck Rodney King" and ends with Rodney King's memorable May 1, 1992 speech in which he asked, "Can we all get along?" What transpires in between is a mix of improvised movement, text, and spoken word that examines a flawed, good-hearted everyman. From the initial glare of the national spotlight as the victim of police brutality, to the heroism thrust upon him that ignited the LA riots, to his lonely death at the bottom a swimming pool-the story of Rodney King reveals America's endlessly complicated relationship with its racial past and present.

"The importance of Roger's new piece about Rodney King is almost shocking in relation to the Trayvon Martin verdict and other recent cases that have continued to make black men and boys feel uniquely vulnerable in our society," says Woolly Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz. "Roger's performance this summer will extend an important conversation about race that has flowed through our current season (including Appropriate, We Are Proud to Present..., From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: A Town Hall on Black Bodies and American Racism, and Facing our Truth: Ten Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege). His complex perspective on Rodney King's life explores a range of emotional responses and restores simple human dignity to a man who accidentally became a national symbol of racial persecution."

Woolly's Connectivity Department, in partnership with Dance Exchange (Washington, DC), has curated a special event to accompany the run of Rodney King. More information on this event is below.

Stepping Toward Racial Equity:
A House Lights Up Workshop Co-Presented with Dance Exchange

Sunday, July 13, following the 2pm matinee performance (3pm-5pm)
In the Milton Rehearsal Hall

Members of the internationally acclaimed Washington, DC-based company Dance Exchange will facilitate Stepping toward Racial Equity, an engaging, thought-provoking, and participatory movement workshop aimed at exploring the powerful ways in which personal storytelling can serve as a tool for advancing racial equity in our communities. Immediately following the performance of Rodney King, participants will work together to create a new dance piece by using accessible art-making tools rooted in inquiry, generative dialogue, and movement. There will also be opportunities to collaborate with Dance Exchange on material that is currently being developed for Dallas Faces Race and Race Forward's Facing Race Conference which will take place in Dallas, TX in November 2014. All audience members with a desire to move, create, and advance racial equity are welcome, regardless of background or experience.

Patrons who purchase tickets to the Sunday, July 13 matinee performance of Rodney King will also have the option to participate in the workshop for an additional $5.

Visit woollymammoth.net for more information.

Photo Credit Patti McGuire

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